Prompt: Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, stakeholders have been urgently working to bring what litigation challenges remain to protect and secure reproductive freedom. While FFRF has argued that abortion bans impermissibly codify a particular religious belief—that life begins at conception—in violation of the Establishment Clause, courts have been unwilling to consider that argument as a means for invalidating laws restricting abortion. However, in light of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, there is renewed interest in arguing Free Exercise rights and/or religious rights protected by state versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a means of invalidating such laws and protecting the rights of people who feel their religion compels them to obtain, perform, or facilitate an abortion.
Essays will be blinded to avoid unintentional bias. A selection of FFRF attorneys will be on the review panel. The contest is open to all ongoing law school students attending a North American law school. You remain eligible to enter this contest if you will graduate from law school by spring or summer of the year the scholarship is awarded. You are not eligible to enter if you will be starting law school for the first time in the fall of the coming academic year. You may not re-enter if FFRF has already awarded you for a law student essay. Essay must be no longer than 1,500 words (not including footnotes), double spaced, standard margins, and font size 11 to 14 point. Include your name and title of your essay on each page. Choose your own title. Pages must be numbered. Indicate word length at end of essay.